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Joseph Robert Comuzzi
|Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Thunder Bay—Superior North
|Preceded by||new riding|
|Succeeded by||Bruce Hyer|
|Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Thunder Bay—Nipigon
|Preceded by||Ernie Epp|
|Succeeded by||Riding Abolished|
April 5, 1933 |
Fort William, Ontario
|Political party||Conservative (2007–present)|
|Spouse(s)||Janet M. Casgrain|
|Profession||Barrister and solicitor, businessman, lawyer|
Comuzzi was born in Fort William, Ontario. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Windsor in 1954. In 1966, Comuzzi received the University of Windsor Alumni Award of Merit, the Alumni Association's most prestigious award. After twenty-four years in the Thunder Bay business community, he returned to his alma mater, and obtained his law degree in 1980.
Comuzzi was first elected to the House of Commons in 1988 for the riding of Thunder Bay—Superior North (Ontario) under the Liberal Party of Canada and the Leadership of John Turner . The 1988 election was fought mostly due to one issue, the Canada–United States Free Trade Agreement. The Government that formed after June 1988 was led by Brian Mulroney of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada. As an Opposition MP Comuzzi has served as chair of the Standing Committee on Transport and a member of the Standing Joint Committee on the Scrutiny of Regulations. Comuzzi has also served as co-chair of the Canada-United States Inter-Parliamentary Group and chaired the National Highway Committee of the National Liberal Caucus.
Beginning in 1988, Comuzzi’s six terms as a Member of Parliament have been devoted to important riding issues: Great Lakes transportation and water quality, the pulp and paper industry, the softwood lumber dispute, grain transportation, mining, small business, health care and the local economy. During his terms of office, he served in many leadership capacities that related to transportation and industry.
Comuzzi became Minister of State responsible for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario (FedNor) on December 12, 2003. While Minister of State, he was forced to apologize for remarks about Quebecers when, in commenting on the Sponsorship scandal, he stated, "I guess that's how they do politics there." He was also appointed Co-Vice-Chair of the Cabinet committee on Canada-United States Relations. He was a member of the Cabinet Committee on Aboriginal Affairs.
He was expelled from the Liberal caucus for pledging to support the Conservative budget on March 21, 2007. "It's for a single issue that's of absolute critical importance to all the people in Thunder Bay and northwestern Ontario, and that's the cancer research centre", he said. He joined the Conservative Party on June 26.
On September 5, 2008, he announced he would not seek re-election.
- "Comuzzi Apology" at the Wayback Machine (archived March 12, 2004). Thunder Bay's Source.
- "Comuzzi quits cabinet over same-sex bill". CBC News, June 28, 2005.
- "Comuzzi expelled from Liberal caucus over budget". CTV News, March 21, 2006.
- "Harper makes it official: Comuzzi joins Tory fold". CTV News, June 26, 2007.
- "Comuzzi won't run in upcoming election". Thunder Bay's Source, September 5, 2008.